Good business communication is a much undervalued skill. For example, in an earlier post – Is your cashflow flowing? – I highlighted, as a joke, precisely how to frame an invoice to be absolutely sure that you wouldn’t get paid. And the examples I gave aren’t fictional – I’ve seen all of them at one time or another, on one invoice or another.

Though admittedly not all at the same time – as in this mockup

As you can see, the trick is to miss out vital information like your name and address, what you are actually invoicing for, and your bank details.

For extra security you can add items you didn’t say you were charging for, add VAT you didn’t include in the original quotation, omit any customer purchase order numbes or references, and wait to send your invoice as long as possible after the work has been done.

For a really sophisticated solution, make sure you don’t actually send the invoice to someone who will know anything about it – ideally on a different site.

But…

Having posted that some time ago I came across a real-life example of failed communication – and I can do no better than quote the friend who had the experience.

I have a hospital appointment this week, organised with admirable speed. Individual staff I have spoken to have been lovely. But… but…

They sent me a letter. “Please phone the Unit if…” etc. Did the letter include a phone number? No.

Does the Unit appear on the online list of hospital departments, so I can find the phone number? No.

Hospitals are big. I have been told to go to Entrance 3. Did they send a hospital map? No.

Does their website contain a clearly accessible hospital map? No.

I needed to have a pre-procedure Covid test at the hospital. Did they send me written instructions on how to find the testing site? No.

How hard is any of this, really?

Those who have eyes to see, let them see…

And if you’re even faintly worried about your own processes – or your own business communication – I’ll be happy to assist. Just call me on 01359 240717 or send me an email.